Thursday, 13 May 2010

My Loud Fish

I set LLC down on the changing mat and the storm blew in. One quavering, downturned lip and whimper later I had a full on down pour on my hands.

What is it LLC? Mommy just needs to change your nappy. What happened? I try my best soothing tone. We’re going to go swimming. It’s like a big bath. Mommy just needs to fasten your special swim nappy on. Come on little one, not so loud. Screaming isn’t respectful to all the other ladies in the changing room.

I’m at the gym taking LLC swimming for the first time and this is not an auspicious beginning.

I scoop her into my arms and we head for the swimming arena. Then, like British rain showers, this storm blows over as suddenly as it arrived. Poolside she’s agog and smiling, the dark pools of her eyes intent on the aqua pool before us. Relief floods through me; I start to relax.

We enter the pool and she loves it. I float her on her back, move her through the water on her front, splash her face and lift and dunk her (without submerging her head – I wasn’t ready for that). She’s as happy as a pig rolling in mud and I’m relieved, smiling, proud of my small fish.

Some things I'll remember for next time:
  • Only put the swim nappy on just before entering the pool - I waited to do this and it was a good call as she did a massive poo between leaving our house and arriving at the gym
  • Make sure you are ready to head into the pool before you suit up your baby - I wore my bathing suit to the gym but didn't undress before suiting her up; this left her undressed and cold while I madly rushed to strip off 
  • Bring baby to pool changing room in a carrier but remember an extra towel to lay baby on while you are dressing 
  • Check the timetable and swim while there are no classes - we had the pool to ourselves and that made the experience all the calmer and all the better
Maybe these all sound pretty basic but I'd never considered them before.  Ahhh, the learning curve is constant. Do you have any tips for swimming with a baby - or avoiding changing room fits?
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